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Google buys Pyra Labs

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  • I think (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrpuffypants (444598) <mrpuffypants@noSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:41AM (#5312907)
    This has the potential to be huge... Google Blogs..

    Not only could you search the Internet, but you could refine your searches just to other people's thoughts, etc.

    Mark another one up for Google being one of the best tech companies in the business world.
    • Re:I think (Score:4, Interesting)

      by c.emmertfoster (577356) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:49AM (#5312930) Homepage
      As though you couldn't already search within a particular domain using Google.

      Look, Google is a great search engine, but that doesn't mean that everything it touches turns to gold. It's not "the next big thing," nor is it a silly buzzword that you can bander around randomly.
      • Re:I think (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jesdynf (42915)
        If you sit down and look at it, Google's "things touched/things that are 24-karat gold" ratio is exceptional.

        They did this for a reason. I can think of many cool things they could do with this. They, I'm pretty sure, can think up more.

        I'm going to make a guess -- backed up, mind, by both their past performance and the general attitude that they exhibit -- that whatever they're up to -will be- the next big thing.

        Or something that darn well could've -been- the next big thing and deserved to be explored.
        • Re:I think (Score:3, Insightful)

          Not to sound as though I were attacking your post, but this kind of thinking strangely reminds me of the pro-linux-open-source-zealotry that runs rampant around here. We don't have any idea whatsoever what they intend to do with this, and yet it is beyond reproach?

          I'm going to make a guess... that this will be a horrible waste of money.

          "Google good, four-legs baaad."
          • Re:I think (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jesdynf (42915) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @05:19AM (#5313123) Homepage
            If you don't have any idea what they're going to be doing with it, what business do you have reproaching it?

            Based on their past performance...

            Google image search? Hoo yeah.

            Maps, phonebooks, toolbar, search-term
            spellchecker? Good ideas all, if not earthshattering, but it shows a consistent effort to improve the utility and relevance of their product.

            Google News? Big pluses here.

            Google Answers? Heh. Okay. But like I said, it deserved to be explored.

            Google AdWords? They found -advertising- that -doesn't suck-. Yeesh. What does it take to impress you? ... based on that, they're up to something that bears close attention. I can't speak to the -profitability- of it, but they're still here, at least.

            If your opinion differs, so be it, but I'm not sure you're basing it on -anything- other than reflexive avoidance of a perceived agenda.

            • What else does Google get out of this that they couldn't get without buying Pyra?

              Instantaneous access to blogs as updated doesn't sound interesting until you imagine correllating that data. I know instant zeitgeist doesn't sound terribly interesting, but I think it will be.

              For example, Pud over at FC could improve the value of his rumors, with questions that only he could answer. Perhaps he's already doing this: Is a batch of rumors about a new F*ck coming from a competitor's netblock or the company's own? What's the timespread? There are other interesting things to be found in that data, too.

              Google could build a killer blogsite. They could cruise existing blogs. They must want existing content & users, already blogging, and not just their content, which they already have, or could have. They're already caching a significant portion of the net. Other thoughts?
            • Google AdWords? They found -advertising- that -doesn't suck-. Yeesh. What does it take to impress you? ... based on that, they're up to something that bears close attention. I can't speak to the -profitability- of it, but they're still here, at least.

              AdWords is exceedingly profitable. One of the highest click through rates in the industry. I guess they have discovered that targetted, non annoying text ads get more customers than huge annoying flash adverts.
      • yeah, but this coming from a drunk =]
    • by Amit J. Patel (14049) <amitp@cs.stanford.edu> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @04:05AM (#5312984) Homepage Journal
      Bloogle? Gooblogs?
    • Re:I think (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@@@gmail...com> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @09:03AM (#5313450) Homepage
      Not only could you search the Internet, but you could refine your searches just to other people's thoughts, etc.

      Sweet screaming monkeys would that be pointless. Blogs are like dreams; they're only interesting to the people they belong to. If by some freakish twist of fate I cared about your last trip to Reno or what kind of sandwich you ate last week, I'd ask you.
      • Right. Except that thousands of mac users care if Dave Hyatt says absolutely anything. Many thousands of readers care about this blog. I have three friends that honestly care about what I have to say. Ok, maybe two friends. But still.

        If google arrives with some kind of RSS ninjitsu, and figures out an essentially better way to deliver the information that you, personally, are interested in, it might be good for everyone.
      • I am not so sure.

        Granted the blog about someones life in particular (what did they eat today etc.) is probably not very entertaining for most people.

        But at the same time I think that Blogs do give us an ability to publish our thoughts better. And maybe give people ideas.

        Look at Slashdot, there might be great comments hidden somewhere in the depths of a discussion but because they came in late or weren't seen by a moderator most people will never read them.

        Now if they are in a blog and indexed by google and other search engines someone who looks for somethig specific might come across it, and who knows maybe inspire someone else with it.

        I played around with blogger and it didn't really "get" me, though I did install Movable Type last week on my site because I wanted to have an easy way to rant away.

        Will the rants be interresting to other people? I don't know and honestly I don't care either because for once they are personal but at the same time they are also a way to vent out. And who knows, some day someone might come across one of my rant, read it and get something from it. You'll never know now do you?
  • Ten years later... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cliffy2000 (185461) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:43AM (#5312910) Journal
    On slashdot.org, there will roughly 100 posts per day claiming that Google is "the evil empire." It's a rule. Commercial success and non-Open-Source-itude (I'm allowed to make up words here.) are considered evil on the /. boards. So before you guys go all crazy about how Google's assimilating every company are being evil and all (and undoubtedly citing the Scientology debacle, no less), just remember this: ultimately, the quality of the product matters.
    • What? (Score:3, Funny)

      by JanusFury (452699)
      Slashdot? In ten years? Won't Microsoft have bought VA software by then?
    • What!? Are we talking about the same google? The early linux advocates? Google labs? The guys with the super-lightweight,fast search engine with no banner adds?

      There might be some 'spit when they talk' types off in the corner spitting, but for the most part, I thought ./ loves google.

    • by oconnorcjo (242077) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @05:35AM (#5313149) Journal
      On slashdot.org, there will roughly 100 posts per day claiming that Google is "the evil empire." It's a rule. Commercial success and non-Open-Source-itude (I'm allowed to make up words here.) are considered evil on the /. boards. So before you guys go all crazy about how Google's assimilating every company are being evil and all (and undoubtedly citing the Scientology debacle, no less), just remember this: ultimately, the quality of the product matters.


      IBM
      CISCO
      AMD
      Intel (ok -they get some flack but they are not hated)
      NVidia

      The Slashdot crowd (for the most part) do not care how big a corporation is, but how good the service they provide. As long as Google remains just awesome, the slashdot crowd will kiss its solid gold ass.

      • by Phantasmo (586700)
        Intel and AMD think that DRM is the best thing since wheels on a bucket - replace those two entries with Apple and you're bang on.
        Adding ATI to the list might be okay, too, eh?
    • ultimately, the freedom of choice matters.
    • That's complete bullshit. The tech crowd is a lot like the car crowd: It doesn't take a lot for them to worship a product/company they like, and they're willing to forgive a lot. For example, TiVo has committed huge privacy violations with its viewer profiles, yet Slashdotters are perfectly willing to defend them whenever the issue comes up - TiVo runs on Linux and is a fairly cool product. IBM is the real industry behemoth (not Microsoft) and has a huge portfolio of software and hardware patents - yet Slashdotters love IBM, because IBM is pro-Linux. It takes a lot to piss Slashdotters off, on the other hand. Even Microsoft, which uses its market position to protect its operating system and browser monopoly and which has hampered progress in the IT industry for the last couple of decades, has staunch defenders here on Slashdot (although one wonders how many of them are paid).

      Most people here are apolitical and fairly apathetic. Even cases of obvious injustice, such as the DMCA and the MPAA's anti-competitive tactics, do not prevent Slashdot from eagerly reporting about every new Hollywood release and even about the Oscars. Boycott? Is that some exotic food? Add to this a substantial crowd of "free market" libertarians who will defend anything and everything a corporation does, as long as the big, evil government isn't involved. And posters like you who rail against a hypothetical Indymedia-style Slashdot crowd which, unfortunately, does not exist.

      Google deserves criticism now, for its censorship practices, for hiring a former NSA spook, for its never-expiring cookies. But just look at this thread -- Google is loved by everyone. And they do make damn good products. Most people are unable to separate a product from the company that makes it, though - and unable to realize that capitalism is, fundamentally, amoral. Ultimately, Google doesn't give a shit about "doing the right thing", only insofar as "doing the right thing" is necessary to prevent bad publicity. Sure, there are many people working for Google who do care. But for any sufficiently large company, it's the bottom line that counts, nothing else.

      • Google deserves criticism now, for its censorship practices,

        I assume you are talking about the Scientology stuff. I think it would have been praiseworthy to fight the DMCA in court, but I don't think that anyone is ethically required to. I notice that you don't have the secret Scientology documents on your web site.

        for hiring a former NSA spook,

        I believe that the NSA is fundamentally evil, because it is too far removed from the control of the people, and because wiretaps ought to be reserved for criminal investigations with probable cause, and because it worked to stop the spread of strong crypto. However, people who work for the NSA, no doubt gain great expertise in data search techniques. It seems to me that quitting the NSA is praiseworthy, and that one should not refuse to hire someone on the grounds that they once worked for the NSA.

        capitalism is, fundamentally, amoral.

        This, I disagree with -- it simply follows from a morality which places property rights above all other rights. This morality is as pernicious as those which elevate the words of books or of certain people above their due -- but it is a moral system. It is worthwhile to be precise here.

        Ultimately, Google doesn't give a shit about "doing the right thing", only insofar as "doing the right thing" is necessary to prevent bad publicity. Sure, there are many people working for Google who do care. But for any sufficiently large company, it's the bottom line that counts, nothing else.

        I agree that this is necessarily true for public companies, but I do not agree that it is necessarily true for privately held companies. Chick-fil-a, for instance, is closed on Sunday because of the owners' religious beliefs. And I think that decisions are made at Google with the goal of doing, if not good, then not evil. I think that for Google, more than the bottom line counts. That's why they put the DMCA notes in search results.

        OTOH, I agree with you that the cookie thing is dangerous.
    • It's a rule. Commercial success and non-Open-Source-itude are considered evil

      Your argument is just plain stupid. I'm an open source Zelot, yet I have a commercial company that makes money. The rallying-cry of open source people is that software copyright should not be used to generate "monopoly" situations where innovation and consumer options are stifled.

      Furthermore, just beacuse we are pro-Google now doesn't mean that they can't become evil 10 years from now. If they abuse the power they get, and try to concentrate further power, then they may very well become an "evil empire" and chastized quite appropriately.

      The core problem here is that the "ideal" state for a company is a "monopoly". Yet, monopolies are the cancer of a free commercial marketplace. In the same way human biology works this way, we want to live as long as possible; yet, when a group of cells achieves immorality (a condition we call a cancer) they become dangerous to the body as a whole. At first glance it seems strange, but really it is a *ballence* which we require. A company can be commercially successful without being a monopoly, and this is the overall ideal state of the system; lots of successful, but competing companies.

      ultimately, the quality of the product matters.

      You are forgetting two crucial factors.

      First, you neglect that how the product is made is an essential (yet invisible) quality of the product itself. If I pollute the environment or abuse the marketplace via monopoly rents then this "damage" to society may very well trump the "quality of the product". If I take advantage of children in slave labor to make shoes, then no matter how good the shoes are... the company that made them is "evil" without a doubt.

      Secondly, in our domain, the primary value of software is not intrinsic, instead it is proporational to the number of people who have adoped the software; the value of Microsoft Windows is much more proporational to the third-party applications that run on it rather than the code base itself, in a similar way the primary value of Microsoft Office is the number of business associates who also use the software, who can assist your usage of the software and who can read your files. Don't confuse the "network effect" with the value of the network itself. VHS was worse technology than Betamax, but VHS won for a single reason -- it had a better distribution channel for the tapes, in other words, the value of VHS was the movies that it can play, not necessarly how well VHS plays those movies.

      The world isn't white and black, it's a mixture of greys.
  • Great :( (Score:5, Funny)

    by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:45AM (#5312917)
    So as if my searches weren't already becoming diluted with Blog drivel they definitely will now!
    • My searches are diluted by Mr. T Ate My Balls, Mahir Cagri, all your base are belong to us, and worthless Flash animations.

      There's a lowest common denominator problem here, and blogs are not really the only ones to blame...
    • Re:Great :( (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CBNobi (141146)
      Not necessarily.

      When Google bought out DejaNews (as the article point out), they made a section entitled Google Groups [google.com], separate from the main site.

      You don't see newsgroup posts on your usual searches, do you?
      • So their new section will be called Bloggle?
      • You don't see newsgroup posts on your usual searches, do you?

        Yes, all the time. Try to search for anything technical, and you'll find people chattering about it on web-archived newsgroups and web-archived mailing lists. Or more likely, chattering about something else, but using your search terms in a way that you didn't anticipate.

        • You don't see newsgroup posts on your usual searches, do you?

          Yes, all the time. Try to search for anything technical, and you'll find people chattering about it on web-archived newsgroups and web-archived mailing lists. Or more likely, chattering about something else, but using your search terms in a way that you didn't anticipate.

          Yeah, but the hits aren't coming from the Google Groups archive, they're coming from an outside site.

    • be happy it doesnt take comments like this one in the search.
    • I dont understand how you define blogs as something detrimental to ability to produce perfect search results. What in your opinion should occupy the top positions in any search results ? Let me give you some choices :

      a) Webpage from well known websites (CNN.com,bbc.com) or
      b) Webpages that are talked about under a specific context in a number of smaller websites maintained by individuals ?

      I think b) is a far better criterion for a webpage to feature at the top of the weblist and i am sure Google has realized this too - and thus the buy out ! The purchase may also help them weedout miscreants who might try to use the google bomb technique to get their links displayed on the top.
    • Re:Great :( (Score:3, Insightful)

      Moderators, this is NOT funny, it's insightful. There's nothing worse than doing a websearch for a serious topic and ending up with 50 hits, none of which are an informed source on the topic, and all of which are repeating some kind of rumor or random musing on the subject. Not to say that some blog-writers aren't informed, but the vast majority are not, and it's terribly frustrating to have to wade through countless pages of rambling and ranting to Get To The Point.

      That said, i doubt Google will push blog hits in its results. A more likely result is a blog-specific search, or a way of networking together the resources that blogs link to. For example, Google's current algorithm seems to select sites based on "popularity" (number of links from other pages to that site)... blogs do this too, but in a social rather than statistical manner - certain "cool sites" become popular and blog-writers spam them around to other blog-writers and soon a whole bunch of blogs point to the same link - but only for a short time. Google might be able to lever this effect to produce date-ordered results related to a specific issue.

    • So as if my searches weren't already becoming diluted with Blog drivel they definitely will now!

      Actually, I think this may help the situation. At present, all the lame-ass blogs on the web are counted like any other web site by Google's search engine. If they buy up all these blogs, they can "segregate" them, if you will, into their own category; much like Google does now with the USENET archive it got from deja.com. I suspect that the blogs will still be indexed by the search engine, but they will be "scored" differently (as in "they're only blogs; value = value / 3") and not show up as often as they do now. I hate getting freak-fuck blog hits when I'm doing technical reasearch, and I imagine the Google engine guys don't like it either. I'm hoping for an improvement here. I'd love a checkbox that basically tells the engine "if (hit == "blog") score = 0;". I could do without commentary from feebs who name themselves after [tech product] and complain about their average lives, when all I wanted was a driver for [tech product].

  • by jericho4.0 (565125) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:45AM (#5312921)
    Expect some brilliantly designed, 'best practice' implementaion to appear on google in a few months.

    Google has never done anything that hasn't redefined what went before it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah... except for groups.google.com - copy of dejanews.com which actually had a nicer interface.

      Oh, and froogle.google.com... weak attempt at pricegrabber.com, mysimon.com etc.

      Google has great search (powered by basically one incredible idea - pagerank) but the services they have branched out with have been lackluster at best.
      • To be fair, froogle is still in beta. Um... and google groups IS dejanews. They bought deja. So that might be why it's similar.
      • by hkmwbz (531650)
        I find Google Groups to be a lot more useful than DejaNews was. I actually use it all the time now. It's so easy to do searches and to find information. Google Groups is a great service!
  • by KFury (19522) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:49AM (#5312927) Homepage
    I think Google is the perfect Pyra buyer because their user-driven mentality is right in line with Evan [evhead.com]'s mentality. Google Labs [google.com] is full of cool ideas that three-person Google teams come up with, and the ones that get a lot of user attention and use get funded further and get ramped up for mainstream use. It makes perfect sense to me that Google would be attracted to the best extra-googliar example of this mentality: Blogger, the first large-scale hosted blog application.

    Curiosities I have are how Google will deal with it's first for-pay service, and what, if any, value-adds Google will give to Blogger blogs: Higher rankings in search results? Possibly. Live posting into Google's search index? Probably. I'm sure there are ideas that haven't even been thought of yet.

    I can't wait to see where this goes! I just wish I was a part of it.
    • by pfguy (321202)
      Wasn't this

      http://answers.google.com/answers/main

      Google's first pay service?
    • I could never see Google as giving higher rankings in searches, even for blogs...I've read over and over that one of their unshakeable, cast in stone ideals is not to taint search results with paid results.

      The minute they did it with one thing, even if it were blog searches, it opens up a pandora's box of questions and opportunities: i.e. "Well, we need cash and we sold search results for GooBlogs, so why not for web searches??"

      I think this is highly unlikely
      • I could never see Google as giving higher rankings in searches, even for blogs...I've read over and over that one of their unshakeable, cast in stone ideals is not to taint search results with paid results.

        I'm paying thousand$ per week to buy higher listings, sort of. Through Overture.com. Their sponsored matches are certainly "pay for higher ranking" even tho they are not mixed with regular results, they are more prominant.

        I pay for higher rankings on every major search engine, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, etc. On most, I have to BID against others, and check it hourly or daily to make sure Im in the top 3.
    • I have actually been thinking lately of this very idea (Google + Blogging ++) and am very impressed that Google is taking this step.

      Amongst other things, I imagine users of Google being able to "gab" through Google blogs about anything on the Internet and have Google keep track of all of the references. Brilliant!

      Search for: Cowboy Neal

      Result 1: How does cowboy neal scrub his shoes..
      Blogs associated with this topic: bla bla ...

      Result 2: bla bla...

      Could be very interesting...
      • That _is_ brilliant.

        Of course, they wouldn't need to buy PyraLabs to do that. It's just a matter of (a) identifying which sites are 'blogs' and (b) setting up blogs.google.com (or better yet opinions.google.com) as a way to do blog-specific searches.

        It's possible that massive indexing of blogs could provide the 'feedback' that Third Voice was trying to accomplish. I could search for blogs linking to a particular CNN story and 'presto' a list of opinions on that story.

        Unlike ThirdVoice, which, IIRC, had little ability to filter trolls, Google would rank those blogs based on their PageRank algorithm.

        Hmm... A website with comments and ranking? All we need now is karma and we've created an internet-wide Slashdot, google-style... :-D
  • Nothing so big (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:49AM (#5312928)
    It is not a big news actually, as people wanted it to be. Searching and Blogging are different things. Webblogging will reach its limits soon, since not everyone is eager to put something out there. It is a personal choice, and blogging, although still with growth potential, will not become the next big thing. Google's decision is in some way a very good decision, since we need a tool to search blogs, separately, just like Google News. Google is right again on the issue. Blogging will be important.
    • Re:Nothing so big (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LinuxXPHybrid (648686)
      > Webblogging will reach its limits soon, since not everyone is eager to put something out there.

      As of today, blogging population is quite small (considering the size of the general internet users). But what if blogging becomes one of common features that free directory service offers? Typical directory service today is just email and maybe address book you might get home page address, but that's it. No blogging (typically). What if blogging becomes widely available? AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, and all these crap providers offer blogging? People want to express their thoughts and opinions. It's just that stuff like making web page was too damn hard for most people to express their thoughts and opinions and also it was difficult to communicate with others. Blogging is much easier. It has potential (I think).
      • What if you could search to find new blogs to read, by people you've never met, based on certain criteria? All stored in one big directory? I'm not even talking about searching for the daily smut written by some 22-year-old bicurious college student with a healthy sexual appetite, I'm talking about people who are fans of the same bands, the same shows, the same stuff as you. Maybe you could find people in your own area and make new friends and even start a club or something. Or maybe you're doing some research and want a first-hand account of something going on in some foreign country, that doesn't come from their local/national news media? One of the the early promises of the web was that suddenly, everyone was a publisher. Well, that's still somewhat true, but it's becoming less so by the day thanks to corporate interests. Blogs could bring that original potential back to the web, as they are a more appropriate place for people to write about the dumb things their cats do and what's going on in their lives. If Google does this right, it's gonna be incredible.
  • just me or .. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by josh crawley (537561) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:52AM (#5312937)
    Is it just me or does it seem that Google is trying to become the number 1 information portal?
    • Re:just me or .. (Score:3, Interesting)

      They don't offer free email, local weather reports, horiscopes, stock quotes, instant messaging, or website hosting.

      Yahoo is obviously the quintisential "portal site" and Google will never approach them in the level of functionality to the ordinary user.
      • All of this, except for the free email they obtained by buying out other companies (like Geocities.com and Hotjobs.com). Google is just starting out, in a few years you'll be saying the same thing about another upstart portal wannabe.
        • Re:just me or .. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by c.emmertfoster (577356) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @04:22AM (#5313017) Homepage
          No, you're missing my point entirely. Google is not just starting out, and Google is not "another upstart portal wannabe."

          Yahoo, as an example of a portal site, uses Google as a web-searching tool. Frankly, I don't see why Google would want to move towards being a portal site, when that niche is already filled by a number of quality sites.

          • Yahoo, as an example of a portal site, uses Google as a web-searching tool.

            Not for long. Yahoo bought Inktomi in December 2002 and Google's contract with Yahoo ends in (I think) March 2003.
      • Re:just me or .. (Score:1, Redundant)

        by sawilson (317999)
        True, but that's just smart if you ask me. Website
        hosting is a great value add, but there are plenty
        of people out there doing it. Weather reports would
        be cool, but then they'd be just like everybody else
        using the same TAF's and weather observations to
        deliver the same information. Stock quotes would
        also be nice, but most people usually have a place
        they get those if they are into that type of thing.
        Google has built their incredible services on the
        concept of searching, and less intrusive marketing.
        That's probably why everybody I know uses google
        for searching, and is abandoning the traditional
        oldschool search engines in droves. Bloggers are
        a perfect fit with everything else googles has
        going for it. They don't offer everything yahoo
        has, but everything they do offer is better than
        what yahoo has. I doubt yahoo or anybody else will
        every catch up. Both Google and Yahoo are huge
        success stories for open source in the enterprise
        as Google uses Linux for servers, and Yahoo uses
        FreeBSD. :)
      • Well, that depends how you define 'functionality'.

        Google has been my homepage from the day I discovered it. If I need to see a weather report, I type in 'weather vancouver', and click 'I'm feeling lucky'. Chances are, I can do this as quickly as some of the more popular portal sites can load.

        One feature that google could add would be something like /.'s 'slahboxes', a form where I could stick 10 or so links to be displayed on my google page.

        • > One feature that google could add would be something like /.'s 'slahboxes', a form where I could stick 10 or so links to be displayed on my google page.
          I think this is one hell of a good idea. I wind up searching for the same things again and again and having the top 5 or so results constantly updated in separate sidebar boxes would be great. Even add a header that says i.e. "wide+open+beaver 5 of about 220,000,000". Chopping the HTML to make it work on my own page would rule, too.
        • > One feature that google could add would be something like /.'s 'slahboxes', a form where I could stick 10 or so links to be displayed on my google page.

          If you use Mozilla, you can do exactly this using the sidebar. It's even better than having it on Google, since these boxes are accessible whether you are on your home page or not. And unlike IE's links, they aren't in your face unless you need them.

          And there are also sidebars with live content (like the one advertised in my signature). Opera's started to build this functionality, but it doesn't seem to be as flexible yet.

          Spiffy stuff.

    • Please don't say that word again, ok?
    • Is it just me or does it seem that Google is trying to become the number 1 information portal?

      I think they're working a different angle. Remember, during the California Gold Rush the guys who got rich weren't the guys digging for gold-- it was the guys selling the shovels. Google, by providing a myriad of ever-improving search capabilities to various entities (such as portals) is essentially selling the shovels here...

  • by sawilson (317999) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:58AM (#5312960) Homepage
    It would be nice if the overall impact of this is
    more even more people participating because of the
    google tie-in. It would be very very nice if it got
    so big that all kinds of news that our mostly
    corporate influenced media didn't report on got out
    and about and all around. I hope this turns into
    one very huge good thing.
  • by neotrex (534693) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @03:58AM (#5312961) Journal
    Internet connection ......... $30.00 Getting a blog .............. $10.00 Highest Google rating ....... $250.00 The whole word seeing my daily rants about how my life sucks and how the world is out to get me ...................... Priceless
  • I know that sometimes a buyout or merger is just a nice way to cover up the layoffs to the investors.

    Investor "Oh why did you scale back? I thought you said we needed all these workers to make product!"

    CEO "Nevermind those bums, we just aquired another company and all their intellectual property! Because of the merger we now own 20 patents in blogging technology that are good for another 20 years! Since we already have the R&D for these patents completed, we can fire the new guys too! That's going to make our stock worth more!"

    Investor "I'll buy that for a dollar!"

    I really don't know if google is a good/bad company, I can't really say the above skit is anything more than fiction in regards to google, but I have seen similiar things happen in the business world. I just hope in another 15 years google doesn't go after all the people using their own open source blogging software claiming royaltee's on an idiotic patent.

    Damn, I'm sounding a bit too YRO slashdotish today.
  • by jshare (6557) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @04:03AM (#5312977) Homepage
    So, now that they own Blogger and Blogspot, they basically have full-on, back-end access to all these blogs. They don't have to crawl websites to get information on what people are linking to (or what they say about those things). They can just pull it out of the (probably more-easily-interpreted) databases. Heck, they can even directly get activity data, and find out what things are being blogged in realtime (and thereby improve the quality of their news, as well as web, search results).

    This isn't about Google pumping up Blogger, or BlogSpot. This is about them acquiring direct access to blog data.

    --
    Jordan

    • by djupedal (584558) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @04:16AM (#5313002)
      And all the trends they can presumedly spot and all the private emails they can nab as part of all the drivel...I mean data. Gotta be painful having to wade thru all that whining. This isn't fb. My point is to agree with the parent that the back end is the driver.

      Anyone thinking this is so google can be a better neighbor isn't paying attention.

      Your blogs belong to google. Hand 'em over.
    • by Scarblac (122480) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @06:26AM (#5313219) Homepage

      This isn't about Google pumping up Blogger, or BlogSpot. This is about them acquiring direct access to blog data.

      Also, Google News works great, except it is sometimes slow to react to current events (Shuttle breakdown took a few hours to appear or so?). Blogs are known to be very fast information suppliers if a crisis is going on. Perhaps News can use the Blogs to spot something important quickly.

    • I completely agree. I've been building up my newsbot [memigo.com] to do just that: sniff out interesting new articles/web memes based on weblogs and inter-linking. I don't know if I could ever compete with Google+Blogger though, as you need a lot of users for the results to get more and more interesting --and noone has more users than Blogger. I think this buyout fits the model.
  • Cool. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suppafly (179830) <slashdot@@@suppafly...net> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @04:30AM (#5313036)
    I already use livejournal, but I could see blogging at google considering 80% of the time I am going to google.com and then looking up other stuff.

    If you are going to be at google to look up other site, pictures, catalogs, etc. might as well get your daily blogging needs taken care of as well.
  • Whats next? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Suppafly (179830)
    I hope they buy ebay soon. I'd love for google to own ebay, paypal, half.com and all the other parts of the ebay empire.

    Maybe some day in the not so distant future, google will be big enough to buy microsoft.
  • Lets say for whatever reason Id like to run a little blog action. Ive never really gotten into any blogs and I dont visit a single one on any kind of basis. However, Id like an easy way to basically journal. Some basic requirements:

    Drop in a working apache server
    Be able to simply add pictures, links, etc. Cant be too complicated tho
    Option to keep a post private

  • by Compuser (14899)
    I think this is bad for Google. I see this as a trend akin to the famous "until it can read email" expansion trend for software. Google has won over users by being a search engine rather than the "portal" that everyone else was pimping at the time. I worry that they are turning into a portal themselves.
    • So far they have entirely been "search engine / cache" whether you are searching (or viewing cached versions of) websites, images, newsgroups, news sites, or catalogues.

      I don't know what they will do with blogs though.

      Tim

  • i wanted to post anonymously but what the heck.

    a related thing came up recently in our research group chitchat that google is actually sucking up quite a few of the top notch CS folks - rob pike anyone?:)

    and it so happens that a couple of weeks back a bunch of lets say "highly talented" folks left the company i work for to google....:)

    this acquisition seems to revalidate that they sure seem to be quite active and healthy and i am darn proud because the founders are our alumni......

  • Google seems to be establishing a pattern with this purchase.

    They bought Deja News, or whatever it was called, giving them direct access to the wisdom of the masses, as encoded in newsgroups. Except that newsgroups seem to be a fading concept, supplanted by mailing lists and blogs. Well, Google can't very well buy mailing lists (from whom would you buy them?) but they just bought most of the blogs. Note that they haven't bought or apparently even tried to buy any traditional mass-media company (CNN, NY Times, Knight-Ridder, etc). In the business world, nobody has placed much value so far on the collected, shared knowledge of the masses, so Google can buy Deja and Pyra for cheap.

    The big question is what owning the major information conduits of the masses gets Google. Google didn't just buy Atrios [blogspot.com] or Dave Barry [blogspot.com], they bought the medium everyone is using to blog.

    This kind of gets me back to an idea [dsl-only.net] I blogged about a little while back--that you could probably make a business out of aggregating blogs into an ersatz net magazine and selling advertising space on the result. Google presents the advertisers with the combined traffic of the top 20 blogs, shows them a prototype of a salon-style magazine and asks how much they'd pay for ad space, then goes to those top 20 blogs and asks them whether they'd agree to publish regularly in exchange for some (smallish) cut of the ad revenue.

    Makes me wonder how long we have until Google buys LiveJournal [livejournal.com]...

    adeu,
    Mateu

  • Why I am puzzled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Voelspriet (650839) <henk@vaness.nl> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @07:02AM (#5313268) Homepage Journal
    I'm puzzled. I can't see instant synergies. Let me explain why.

    a. Google News

    Dan Gillmor [siliconvalley.com], who broke this story, mentioned in an update the possibility, that the weblog links can be used to improve Google News.

    But Google doesn't need to buy Pyra for that. Google can spider any leading weblog they want. Yes, there was this problem of interlinked weblogs resulting in a high PR (PageRank) for certain logs, but Google fixed that problem by giving more value to outgoing links then incoming links. They don't need to buy Blogger for indexing of weblogs.

    b. Portal

    Another suggestion that has been made: Google is moving to a portal.

    I refuse to believe that Google is getting megalomanic. Besides, we all know what happened to AltaVista.

    c. Direct access

    Jshare suggested Google bought Blogger to get direct access to blog data.

    But crawling the 200.000 active Blogs doesn't cost much resources. It's only a few gig of data. Why bother to buy a whole firm for that?

    d. Journal with ads

    Mateub suggests that Google could make a magazine out of the blogs, complete with ads.

    But they can do that already. Have a close look at news.google.com. Search for, hmm, Google [google.com] At the right side, there's enough space for ads. Google could index just the weblogs, like Daypop, and make a new product out of it (without buying Pyra).

    Whatever the reason is behind the buy, it will have a huge impact. The simple fact that one of the hottest internet companies buys Pyra's Blogger will make the product main stream in months.

    Henk van Ess editor of Voelspriet [voelspriet.nl]

    TIP: Check Ovidiu Predescu [webweavertech.com] site now and then. He started working at Google's on January 22 and writes about it in his ...weblog.

    • Re:Why I am puzzled (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hoggy (10971)
      Jshare suggested Google bought Blogger to get direct access to blog data.

      But crawling the 200.000 active Blogs doesn't cost much resources. It's only a few gig of data. Why bother to buy a whole firm for that?


      Yes you could crawl the blogs easily enough, but the magic of blogs is the ability to instantly gauge the zeitgeist of the net. If you have to crawl them periodically to do that then you lose the time advantage.

      Crawling constantly would overload the blog servers and make Google unpopular. This way they get access to the backend and can index and load links straight into the crawler as people post.

      Trackbacks can be used to provide realtime ratings of a blogger's ranking within the community and thus ratings of the pages they link to. With blogs, Google can harness a huge distributed realtime relevancy filter.
      • Re:Why I am puzzled (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Voelspriet (650839)
        Dear Hoggy,

        Crawling constantly would overload the blog servers and make Google unpopular. This way they get access to the backend and can index and load links straight into the crawler as people post.

        Should Google crawl every possible weblog constantly? Most of the popular blogs have in common that they update at least once a day or more. Google crawls those sites already more then once a day without problems, catching Zeitgeist.

        Trackbacks can be used to provide realtime ratings of a blogger's ranking within the community and thus ratings of the pages they link to. With blogs, Google can harness a huge distributed realtime relevancy filter.

        But Google has a big relevancy filter, PageRanking.

        Your remarks make me think though. Google could use Pyra's Blogger for a dedicated search engine like Daypop, but with faster updates and perhaps better filters (although the PR in combination with keyword density and other factors does a good job). Those results can also be integrated in the normal engine.

        But I'm wondering if they do this at once, or wait till Blogger has more then active 200.000 users. What do you think?

        • by hoggy (10971) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @07:34PM (#5315974) Journal
          Should Google crawl every possible weblog constantly? Most of the popular blogs have in common that they update at least once a day or more. Google crawls those sites already more then once a day without problems, catching Zeitgeist.

          I think it's when they update rather than how often that's exciting. When big events happen, people tend to comment on it immediately. Crawling once a day can't catch the moment.

          But Google has a big relevancy filter, PageRanking.

          But this is calculated on a very infrequent basis (comparatively). If I searched for Google and Pyra, I wouldn't find this announcement because it may not get crawled and page ranked for a month. Whereas people were commenting on it in blogs within minutes.

          Your remarks make me think though. Google could use Pyra's Blogger for a dedicated search engine like Daypop, but with faster updates and perhaps better filters (although the PR in combination with keyword density and other factors does a good job). Those results can also be integrated in the normal engine.

          But I'm wondering if they do this at once, or wait till Blogger has more then active 200.000 users. What do you think?


          I think you can already see what I find most exciting about the combination of Google and Blogger ;-)

          Time is a powerful dimension that traditional crawlers can only map in a very course-grained way. Via the back-end of a large blogging engine, you can watch memes move in realtime.
    • You're assuming google is buying blogger to improve google's services.

      But it's likely google wants to improve blogger's services, and that may be the main game: if google's own resources can dramatically improve blogger, then a strong synergy exists after all.

      What do people blog about? Recent events.

      What is the world's best source of info on recent events? Google.

      Google can integrate its data into the blogger UI to structure blogs, possibly link between them, etc. This in turn will improve google's own services. As you say, that part could be done by spiders. BUT by no means as effectively as a situation where the blog data itself is directly linked to google's records before it is is even published to the web.
    • Re:Why I am puzzled (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mateub (146588)
      Voelspriet wrote:

      Mateub suggests that Google could make a magazine out of the blogs, complete with ads.

      But they can do that already. Have a close look at news.google.com. Search for, hmm, Google At the right side, there's enough space for ads. Google could index just the weblogs, like Daypop, and make a new product out of it (without buying Pyra).

      True enough, but I think Google could do a much more planned, coherent version with some actual cooperation from the bloggers.

      For example, Google could tell their "preferred" bloggers they want to do an editorial section on, say, Afghanistan--$50 to anyone who writes a piece we use. Or perhaps change blogger.com to use RDF [w3.org] so that Google can more knowledgeably (sp?) format a "Blogzine" page.

      It's easier for Google to do this when 500 newspapers go online with a story, but blogger interests are more diverse. I think Google would need something more than their current news system to place, for example, the talking points memo series on the GOP Marketplace trying to swamp Democrat phone banks with calls [talkingpointsmemo.com]. Interesting story (to me at least), but apparently only 1 newspaper was reporting it. How would a Google blog news service know what to do with that series today?

      In any case, you're probably right in the sense that I think the odds of Google doing something like what I imagine are slim. I still think it could work, but they'll probably come up with something more clever than this. Must be a joy to work in their research lab...

      adéu
      Mateu

  • Good....Now maybe the google folks can take a few of those *nix based 486 machines and replace the mess of M$ products that "run" blogger. I thought blogger was cool back in the day -- but was always perplexed as to the software choices they made in running such a big, complicated, heavy traffic service.
  • Although Google now spiders my blog daily, that wasn't the case for the first month or two. Worse, Google rejected my pay($) Google textads as being "anti-establishmentarianism" and "anti-media." See my two [underreported.com] stories [underreported.com] about it.

    If Google spiders blogspot.com blogs from day one, that gives them an unfair advantage.

  • Wow, Evan is actually my girlfriends good friend - from a little bit back. From what she's told me, he's had some tough choices to make over the few years, but it sounds like he kept the dream alive and it has paid off - if that's the goal. I guess I could think of worse companies to be purchased by. Coulda gone to M$ and been wrapped into some shitty feauture in LookOut or MSN. ;)

    Seriously tho, this is actually inspiring for me since I've always felt like I wanted to do my own idea(s) and there's always someone there - from the awful 'manager' to press to whatever else - putting down those ideas in favor of conformity or dissing them due to their lack of vision. That might not be Pyra's feelings, but to know someone has really stuck to their guns in face of all kinds of obstacles, gives me some hope to keep pushing forward.
  • A Solution? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DarwinDan (596565)
    Ah ha! Finally, a solution for the Google Time Bomb [microcontentnews.com]! Google would be able to filter out 85% of the blogs and show us the real (read: unblogged) results.
  • While there is still much to be done with indexing using machine learning, there is a much greater payoff that is much more reachable using human brains as part of the process.

    Web reviewers are one possibility, of course, but how many reviewers would it take to cover the web as it now sits - google just told me it is "searching 3,083,324,652 web pages".

    Blogging and its relatives are probably far more powerful when allied with automatic page classification and ranking.

    Suppose Google builds an extended blog format - perhaps with XML tags - and a tool to make entries using that format. This already gives them some more meta information that could be useful in building better searches.

    And, as has been said, the ability to track the activity in a blog on a (sort of) real time basis gives them the capability to track news as it happens.

    But there are more possibilities yet - just knowing the times entries are made gives you some information. If you have a blog coming from a specific user (track by cookies or even IP) you can correlate blog entries with google searches and with the user looking at other blogs. Sure, much of this will be uncorrelated, but add it all together and I suspect it will start to show interesting patterns. And much of this kind of information will only be available to an organization hosting the blogs.

    I think there are other ways to extract more information from a blogger as well.

    This could pay off big for Google as a search engine and augmented information indexer - most especially if they can get the human factors right and tempt a few more people into blogging.

    (There's more - and in some rather more specific domains and contexts - but google seems uninterested in hiring me, so I don't see any good reason in giving them my ideas.)

    • Google News at the present time is dependant on about 4,000 news sites of which Google has no control. There is a lot of newsworthy stuff in blogs, particularly if Google can attract key businesses, organizations and others.

      This brings about a new type of content organization -- Google's Alternative News -- not dependant on the other news organizations.

      Now couple these ideas with what jefu is saying, Google has some real muscle in the world of information. Coupled with search engine, news breaking on blogs, Google could have a million or so sources that can be automatically indexed, so people can search fresh seconds after the news has broken.

      Sites like mine Google Village as a Bloogle could be indexed and on the main news page in seconds. Now I think there is the business model for Google. If each person pays for their News Site to have access to the Google-News-Machine . . . I know I would pay!
  • No doubt Google Blogs will be cool. It will also be the crystal clear sign of feature creep that even naysayers will have to recognize.
  • by rpiquepa (644694) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @02:21PM (#5314648) Homepage
    Elwyn Jenkins, who is behind Google Village [googlevillage.info] or Googlology Info Site [googlology.info] wrote a comment about this story minutes after we both discovered Dan Gillmor's article. His comments are available at Google Buys Pyra: Fuel for The Blogging World! [googlevillage.info]. Here are my comments about his story. "I agree with you, it's all about content. But there's a business aspect too. Larry and Sergey might run the technical show. But Eric Schmidt is here to take care of the business. And how Google will make money? By hosting bloggers for a fee? There were not so many paying customers for BlogSpot. And even imagine one million subscribers for $40 a year. That would not bring a great stream of revenue to Google. They must have an hidden idea."

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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